Could you pass the test?

October 14, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
What does the U.S. Constitution do? Why do some states have more representatives than others? Under the U.S. Constitution, what is one power of the federal government?

As a lawyer, you should be able to answer these questions pretty easily. But what if you were new to the U.S. and trying to become a citizen?

The government has created a new citizenship test, which has more of an emphasis on fundamental concepts of the U.S. democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizens as opposed to more factual questions, such as ‘How many stars are on the U.S. flag?’

The idea of the redesign is to ensure naturalization applicants have a meaningful understanding of our government and history. From now on, those who apply have to take this new version of the test. You can see some of the questions on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.

Because the new test is concept based, it may be more challenging to those who aren’t proficient in English or who haven’t completed much education in their lives. But is that the new point of the test – to make it harder so that only those who have a firm grasp of English can pass and become citizens, or is it to make sure new citizens truly understand the concepts behind the U.S., not just the facts?

As Americans, I think we take for granted our freedoms afforded to us under our Constitution and forget about our country’s history and birth. Take a look at some of the new questions and see how many you can answer.
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

ADVERTISEMENT